Important notes for Scouts (and a survival guide for parents!)

Download a copy of these notes: Event Notes 2019

These are comprehensive notes to help you (as Scouts) and you (as parents) manage the run up to the Ten Tors event. It is important that you follow the advice given as every year the event is oversubscribed and if we (as a subscribing organisation) are seen to be failing by the Army in any way we risk losing our team places denying future Scouts the opportunity of a truly unique experience. There are many organisations:  schools; cadets other youth clubs just waiting to snap up a place.

Please print these notes and bring them with you to the mandatory briefing on Monday 6th May. The army expects us to brief all parents.

After having read these notes AND attended the briefing if you still have a question please contact us.

Summary Timetable:

  • Monday 6th May 7.30pm Scouts & Parents’ briefing 169th Scout hut. Scrutineering for 45s and 55s only.
  • Wednesday 8th May 7.30pm or 8.30pm Scrutineering 35s – team slots below.
  • Friday 9th May 09.00am  Meet at 169th
    • 10.00am  Leave for Dartmoor
  • Saturday 11th May 5.00am   Rise, breakfast, team photos
    • 7.00am   Event starts
    • Overnight camp (35 miles teams – at manned Tor)
  • Sunday 12th May 6.00am   Teams restart
    • 5.00pm   Last time for teams to complete course
    • 8.00pm   Arrival at Bristol (latest)


Monday 6th May – Final Briefing
    • Run through of the Event notes.
    • Last opportunity to request kit from Richard
    • Q & A

If you as a parent cannot attend this meeting please contact us now. (It’s always the Bank Holiday Monday!)

If your son/daughter cannot attend the team scrutineering on Wednesday 8th May eg they are on a school field trip please contact us now.   

Wednesday 8th May 35 mile teams scrutineerin

Scouts will be scrutineered as a team in preparation for the event. Scouts need to attend ​at the times shown​ to be scrutineered ​as a team​.  You will be given a letter at the Parents briefing on Monday 6th with details of the Team your Son or Daughter is in.

  • 7.00pm 35 mile ​Teams: 1306B Cabot; 1304 Bristol Scouts; 1292 Spaniorum, 1328 Wiveliscombe Scouts
  • 8.00pm 35 mile teams: 1306A Cabot; 1308 Brabazon; 1239 Polar

We will want you to know (and we will help you)

    • Who is your team captain and vice captain?
    • Who in your team will wear a red identity tag, what this means and what you would need to know to help them?
    • Who is your “buddy” for the event?
    • Who will you be sharing a tent with?
    • Who is bringing the stove, fuel and cooking pot (in pairs)?
    • What is your procedure should the team become “lost”?
    • What items do you need to carry as a team (documentation as well as equipment)?
    • What are the two worst extremes of weather and what conditions that they cause you as walkers (hypothermia and heat exhaustion). What you should do to prevent them and what to do if they happen?
    • What are the contents of the team first aid kits?
    • Restrictions on walking in bird nesting areas?
    • What instructions are shown on the Green and Pink Cards?

We will check scouts’ personal kit – item by item.

We have been undertaking pre-hike checks (scrutineering) from the first hike. By now everyone should be aware as to the standard we (inter-alia the army) are expecting. If a piece of substandard kit is presented to the army on the Friday firstly we would have to find an adequate replacement and secondly, the entire team is placed to the back of the queue. This might entail a second 2-3 hour wait as there are 400 teams to processed. Our Wednesday night check is aimed at preventing this occurring.

Please weigh the personal kit you are to carry; then weigh yourself. Bring weight results with you on Wednesday in lbs not kgs. You will be expected to carry a share of team kit as well but overall your total pack weight should not exceed 30lbs OR one-third of your body weight (whichever is less).

Full personal kit details are listed

Weekend Kit list

Kit Items – reminder to parents

    • Kit should be marked name and team number
    • If possible Scouts should bring a second sleeping bag to use on Friday night. This enables their main bag to be packed after event scrutineering. This does not have to meet the 0 degree standard.
    • Sandwich lunches required – Friday/Saturday/Sunday. No meat/cheese products in Sunday’s sandwiches.
    • 2 hot meals to be carried; Saturday evening & Sunday breakfast + 2 hot drinks.
    • Emergency rations must include a hot drink sachet.
    • Medicines  – have we been notified? Do not leave them behind.
    • No new boots!
    • Ordinary gear to travel down in plus change of kit for return on Sunday all packed in one strong bag (not plastic bags please). Add name tag.No open-top bags eg IKEA type.
    • Wash kit, towel and deodorant.
Friday 10th May
    • Meet at 169th hut at 9.00am
    • Wear casual gear/trainers to travel down in
    • Any kit failing Wednesday’s scrutineering will be rechecked. Don’t pack this away in your bag -we don’t leave until ALL personal kit has been accounted for.
    • Medicines check
    • Do not fill platypus or water bottles
    • Please bring a cake to donate and mark it if it is Gluten Free/Nut Free etc, the cake is divided up and given to the teams when they arrive back at our camp with a hot drink after they have completed the challenge and some of our participants have allergies.
    • Leave hut by 10.00am
  • Arrive Okehampton site 12.15pm
  • Prepare for scrutineering (if selected) and safety briefing:
    • Change into one set of walking gear (Tents for Friday night sleeping will have been set up)
    • Wristbands issued
    • Team kit issued
    • Do not fill platypus or water bottles
    • Attend scrutineering – Route Card stamped
    • Attend safety briefing – Route Card stamped
    • Allow 2-5 hours in total

Team Kit items – supplied by us

    • 2 tents
    • Tent repair kit
    • 2 team first aid kits
    • 2 map cases
    • 2 compasses
    • One team emergency mobile phone (sealed)
    • 1  trowel
    • 2 hi viz jackets
    • Team sweatshirt

Team documentation for the event

    • Route card
    • 2 official Ten Tors maps
    • Map of manned Tors
    • Ten Tors Instructions (your laminated GREEN and PINK cards)
    • ID wristbands (Notified medical conditions will be issued in red)
    • 2 team ID panels  (To be fixed on top of rucksack)
    • Team tracker
    • 2 ID panels for attaching to tents overnight
    • Rubbish bag (to be handed in at Tor on Sunday morning in exchange for return of  Route Card. NO bag – no return of route card.)

After scrutineering and safety briefing

    • Eat Friday lunch
    • Re-pack rucksack
    • Prepare routes with Team Manager
    • Fill water bottles and Platypus
    • Explore site but – no football, no games, no climbing wall to avoid risks of last minute injury
    • Team photos in sweatshirts
    • 6.00pm – served cooked evening meal. Plates and cutlery will be provided.
    • Approx 9.00pm – drink and bed
    • 10.00pm lights out.
Saturday 11th May
    • 5.00am Rise, toilets, recheck gear
    • 5.30am Served cooked breakfast
    • 6.30am Walk to start
    • 7.00am Start of event
    • 8.00am onwards -Early riser parents –tea; Training team- breakfast

Teams then walk their route checking into each Tor as they go. Later in the day each Tor has a “crash out” time. If a team does not reach that Tor by the time printed on their route card they must then stop and camp for the night. The trick is to get as far round as possible on the first day – but there may be mitigating factors such as bad weather or hot weather, team member feeling unwell or simply poor navigation! Provided the team get through the Tor before their “crash-out” time they can continue to the next Tor. The walking pace can then be slowed as the team will not be called back.

  • All 35 mile teams must camp at a manned checkpoint. 45 mile and 55 mile teams may camp wild and will walk on into the night so to be as near as possible to their next checkpoint for the Sunday.
Sunday 12th May
    • 5.00am Teams rise ready to leave at 6.00am.
    • Hand in rubbish bag – collect route card
    • 6.00am First time that 45s/55s may check in at their next Tor.
    • 8.30am First “super fit” team likely to finish at Okehampton
    • 10.15am the earliest ever, one of our teams have finished
    • 13.00 onwards an increasingly steady band of teams finish
    • 17.00 the latest time that a team can finish and gain a medal


  • 17.00 the latest time that a team can finish and gain a medal

From 13.00 onwards there are again “crash out” times when it is deemed that the distance to the finish cannot be covered by 17.00

    • When a team finishes they:




        • Register at the finish


        • Are presented with their medals (and team certificate if all 6 in the team complete)


        • Collect their pasty!


        • Report to our site for TLC and liquid and cakes


      • Parents will not be able to talk to the teams until after they have been presented with their medals


    • When all our teams have finished we can go home!


  • Scouts who have an exam the next day may leave asap after notifying Mike/Jenny at base camp.

Ten Tors is primarily a team event. The Scouts have worked together throughout the year, will travel to the site together and will have spent the weekend together in teams. We have found that they also need time to unwind – as a team. We should very much encourage Scouts to return together in the minibuses at the end of the event rather than go directly home with parents. (Unless they have an exam on the Monday)

Scouts – In the week leading up to the event

    • Stay fit. Walk as much as possible each day
    • Avoid injury – take care on other sporting activities
    • Eat sensibly – eat balanced meals – plenty of fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates like potatoes (not chips) and pasta and protein like meats or fish. Avoid pies, chips, quick food outlets and carbonated soft drinks.
    • Drink at least 3 pints of fresh or bottled water throughout each day.
    • Prepare your kit, weigh it then see what else you can reduce weight on without going below the minimum kit required.
    • Make a list of the kit items you still need to pack eg fresh sandwiches.
    • Make a list of the items you will also need to take for travelling on the Friday – return Sunday eg clothes, trainers, bag for boots, Friday sandwiches, Sleeping bag for Friday.

Scouts – Event tips

  • Get plenty of liquid at Saturday breakfast
  • Continue to drink regularly throughout the day (at least 3 pints AM and another 3 pints PM)
  • At the start – 7am. When the cannon sounds DO NOT rush off. Stick together as a team and gently get into your stride. Do not lose sight of your team members amongst the 2400 starters. It is not a race.
  • Check and recheck your navigation – use waypoints between Tors.
  • At each Tor plot actual time against your estimated times. Allow for bad weather, fatigue or being stopped for scrutineering on the moor.
  • If you are stopped for scrutineering additional time can be added onto your time on Sunday BUT the Route Card must be signed.
  • Short rest at each Tor but be careful of Saturday nights “crash out times” printed on the Route Card and the possibility of deteriorating weather later in the event.
  • You know that the weather is unpredictable. Push on using good weather/visibility- take it easier in poor conditions. If likely to be very hot, push on up to 11.00am/burn off, ease off the pace during midday and push on again after 4.00pm. Watch out for lightning, thunder and mist.
  • Very hot? Don’t be too tempted to wear shorts or short sleeved top- you can easily burn. Keep your neck covered, apply sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids. Bare legs and arms = possible tick bite.
  • Watch for “out of bounds” use way paths through restricted areas
  • At your Saturday overnight stop:
    • Your route card will be taken away.
    • Get tents up, cooking pot on – hot meal and drink and early to bed.
    • Be ready to leave the Tor on the Sunday at 6.00am after breakfast, tents down, site all cleared.
    • Don’t forget to collect your Route Card.
    • Make sure you activate the tracker at every checkpoint. It is a long way to have to go back!
    • Learn how to use the tracker in this video:
  • Injured? You have to decide as a team what to do. Will your team member feel better after a rest? If they are really ill you must get help by going to the nearest manned checkpoint even if this is not on your route. Are you ahead of or behind your ETA? If you feel you cannot go on, decide to fall out before you leave the Tor not on your way to the next! How far to your overnight stop?  NEVER drop out on arrival at your overnight stop but see how you are in the morning. Can the team help by taking some of your kit?
  • The minimum number in a team is 4 and all team kit must be carried. If the team numbers go below 4 – you will not be allowed to carry on unless another team going on the same route are prepared to have you join them.
  • Keep a good eye on your actual times against your estimated times. If you are losing too much time you may need to drop your slowest walker. There is no stigma to falling out – it is most noble a gesture to put your fellow team members chances of success first.


Okehampton Training Camp/ Event Provisions
    • If different, the actual pitch location will be updated –Thursday/Friday.
    • The pitch will be manned 24 hours during the weekend. Join us for tea and a chat anytime.
    • Updates: We will update the Cabot Ten Tors website during the weekend.
    • Sunday – sale of team photos taken on the Moor during Saturday. About £8-50. If sold out of proofs, orders can be made.
    • Medals will be presented to team members that complete the challenge straight after finishing. Medals can be engraved near by.


  • Car Parking -on a rough bit of field at £5 per day / £10 for the weekend
Following progress

You are very welcome to join us in person on Saturday and/or Sunday.

    • Do wrap up warm, bring a waterproof, wear stout shoes or boots.
    • Locate us for a cup of tea –see map on website
    • On Saturday we leave the site for the start at 6.30am
    • On Sunday we all wait at the finish from 10.30am onwards (depending on how well teams have progressed on the Saturday) – see map
    • If you go onto the Moor you are not allowed to assist a team as this will lead them to be disqualified, you may interact with them when they are within 500m of the Finish Line by shouting words of encouragement and cheering them in.
    • If arriving to see the start on Saturday morning aim to be in Okehampton by 5.30am
    • If arriving to see the teams finish try to be in Okehampton by midday (assuming your team’s eta is 14.00 onwards)
  • The queue for the car park can stretch back into Okehampton which would indicate a 1.5 hour queue to the carpark!
Summary of Ten Tors Manager’s Notice issued by the Army
    • Parents, guardians and members of public welcome to the Army Camp.
    • Public Information Centre open to determine team progress – up to date information is continuously scrolled onto a screen.
    • Once the team starts responsibility for your son/daughter rests with the Army until they either complete the event OR are returned to Okehampton Camp and are “discharged” as a “fallout”.
    • They will only be handed over to the named Team Manager not a parent.
    • The Army will only deal with a query via the named Team Manager and not direct by a parent etc.  You will be provided with the name and contact number of your son/daughter’s Team Manager.
    • Check the weather forecast before departing and bring suitable clothing and footwear.  You may wish to bring binoculars to watch your team approaching the finish, and don’t forget your camera.
    • Please leave the teams to carry out the Challenge unaided. If team officials or supporters go onto the Moor during the Challenge, they must do nothing that might be construed as giving assistance to any team or individual as this can lead to disqualification.
  • If there are any changes from the normal running of the Event caused by adverse weather or traffic problems etc, announcements will be made on the Ten Tors website and in the Okehampton Camp Public Information Centre.
Okehampton Army Camp Map (we are notmally camped in C or D)

We have a white Marquee and should have Cabot scout banners outside (if they havent blown away!).


Okehampton Camp map

And finally…
    • In the week leading up to the event try to get participants to go to bed early
    • On the Friday night participants will go to bed at 9.00pm
    • Once the formalities of Friday are over, there is plenty to see and explore at the Army site but no football or contact sports. Send material to read.
    • Some pocket money may be useful, but not too much as we cannot look after it.
    • The Jubilee Challenge starts at 7.30am Saturday (a one day event for those with a physical or mental incapacity). Leaders normally go to watch start.
    • Be careful of temporary parking restrictions in Okehampton for the weekend.
    • Our own on site team photos are taken on the Friday and will be posted onto our website.
    • Returnable Team kit (eg tents etc) should all be handed in on the Sunday. If you discover any subsequently please contact Richard.
    • On loan personal kit should be washed/cleaned and returned to Richard.



        • Waterproof Jackets/overtrousers – brush off mud. Cold water wash with NO detergent. Drip dry. Low level tumble dry for jacket if possible.


        • Sleeping bag. Wash liner. Do NOT wash sleeping bag.


        • Cooker. Clean.


      • Rucksack. Brush off/sponge off any mud marks.


    • Let Richard know of any damage e.g. broken zips.


  • A team sweatshirt will be issued to all and will be worn “walking in” to the finish so that the team look like a team. Please re-read the kit list on the website (link above) as confusion always arises about the army’s guidance over clothing.
Okehampton Camp Directions from Bristol
    • Take the M5 to Exeter. At junction 31 join A30.
    • Take B3260 into Okehampton.
    • Proceed downhill past petrol station on right. Care 40mph and then 30mph.
    • Speed camera on left
    • Downhill through 2 sets of traffic lights into Main Street.
    • At next set of traffic lights turn left into Fore Street (Plume of Feathers pub on left boarded up as closed down – Martins Newsagents on the right).
    • At 80 metres road bears towards left (toilets on left – Post Office on right), continue for next 15 metres and take next right – Station Road.
    • Proceed uphill over railway bridge (road narrows and swings to left) and over A30. Over cattle grid – continue uphill – sharp right hand bend and onto level.


  • Road splits just outside Camp – army personnel on hand to direct to Car Park.




    • Car parking arrangements may change if the weather is bad, keep an eye on the Ten Tors website. (There has been an emergency park and ride in the past)